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TALES The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 2 Edited by Blake Bell


table of contents Introduction by Blake Bell

Hydroman

7

(Reg’lar Fellers Heroic Comics, Eastern Color)

The Heroes

Cover, #6, May 1941 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

17

Untitled story, May 1941 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Cover, #7, July 1941 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

Skyrocket Steele (Amazing Mystery Funnies, Centaur)

Untitled story, #7, July 1941 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 Untitled story, #8, September 1941 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Untitled story, #9, November 1941 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

Cover, v2 #3, March 1939 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Untitled story, v2 #3, March 1939 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Red Reed

Untitled story, v2 #4, April 1939 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

(Silver Streak Comics, Lev Gleason)

Cover, v2 #5, May 1939 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Untitled story, v2 #5, May 1939 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Untitled story, #20, April 1942 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

Cover, v2 #6, June 1939 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Untitled story, #21, May 1942 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

Amazing Man

Miscellaneous

(Amazing Man Comics, Centaur) Illustrations (only) for “Save on Bullets” Cover, #9, February 1940 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Untitled story, #9, February 1940 (art assist by unknown) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Cover, #10, March 1940 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Untitled story, #10, March 1940 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Cover, #11, April 1940 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Untitled story, #11, April 1940 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

(illustrated text story), Silver Steak Comics #1, December 1939, Lev Gleason . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 Cover, Amazing Mystery Funnies v2 #18, March 1940, Centaur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 Cover, Target Comics v1 #5, June 1940, Novelty Press . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 Cover, Target Comics v1 #6, July 1940, Novelty Press . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

Bull’s-Eye Bill (Target Comics, Novelty Press)

“Tell-Tale Smoke,” illustrated text story, Fantoman #2, August 1940, Centaur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151 Covers, Blue Bolt Comics (Novelty Press): v1 #11,

Untitled story, v1 #3, April 1940 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Untitled story, v1 #4, May 1940 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

April 1941; v2 #1, June 1941; v2 #2, July 1941; v2 #3, August 1941. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Cover, Famous Funnies #85, August 1941,

The Chameleon (Target Comics, Novelty Press) Untitled story, v1 #7, August 1940 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Untitled story, v1 #8, September 1940 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Untitled story, v1 #9, October 1940 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

4.

Eastern Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154


The Humorous and More 157

“The Crazy Car,” Journey Into Mystery #20, December 1954, Marvel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 “Nightmare Pin Up #1,” Nightmare #1,

“What’s With The Crosbys?,” Famous Stars #2, 1950, Ziff-Davis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159 “Snafu’s Lovely Ladies,” pin-up parody, Snafu #3, March 1956, Marvel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165 Cover, Adventures of Big Boy #1, 1956, Marvel, West Coast edition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166 Back Cover, Cracked #6, December 1958, Major Magazines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167 “New Look Magazine Covers,” Cracked #3, July 1958, Major Magazines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168 “Luxury Cruise,” (detail) Cracked #6, December 1958, Major Magazines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170 “Free-For-All-Land,” Cracked #24, April 1962,

December 1970, Skywald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232 “Nightmare Pin Up #2,” Nightmare #2, February 1971, Skywald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233 “Nightmare Pin Up #3,” Nightmare #4, June 1971, Skywald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 “The Man Who Stole Eternity,” Psycho #3, May 1971, Skywald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 “The Heap” pin-up, Psycho #4, September 1971, Skywald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 “A Psycho Scene,” (inside front cover) Psycho #5, November 1971, Skywald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246 “Werewolf” pin-up (back cover), Psycho #6, May 1971, Skywald . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247

Major Magazines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172 Cover, Zany #3, March 1959, Candor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174 “Love Knows No Rules,” Personal Love #24,

Acknowledgements 248

November 1953, Eastern Color . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175 Title illustration, “Not Quite Yellow,” War Stories v1 #1 (pulp magazine), September 1952, Magazine Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 The Horror 183 “Hangman’s House,” Suspense #5, November 1950, Marvel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186 “I Deal With Murder!,” Suspense #6, January 1951, Marvel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 “Felix The Great,” Suspense #6, January 1951, Marvel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203 “The Face Of Death,” Adventures Into Weird Worlds #4, Spring 1952, Marvel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210 “Don’t Bury Me Deep,” Adventures Into Weird Worlds #5, April 1952, Marvel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214 Cover, Journey Into Unknown Worlds #14, December 1952, Marvel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221 “The Scarecrow,” Journey Into Unknown Worlds #14, December 1952, Marvel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222

5.


the heroes

Bill Everett’s association with Funnies, Inc. began when editor Lloyd Jacquet marched a parade of talent, including Everett, out of the Centaur Publications office. It lasted until Everett left for World War II in early 1942. During that time, Everett was given virtual free reign to produce a myriad of strips that featured colorful and wildly offbeat heroes and villains. If Centaur had any hard feelings about the sudden disappearance of its staff, it didn’t prevent the company from immediately hiring Funnies to produce (or to continue to produce) its comics. Everett’s run on Centaur’s Amazing Mystery Funnies — with his features Skyrocket Steele and Dirk The Demon — came to an end around the time of the breakup. (This volume presents Everett’s final three Skyrocket Steele adventures. For earlier adventures, see Amazing Mysteries, The Bill Everett Archives Volume 1, Fantagraphics Books, 2011.) The first strip Everett produced for Funnies, Inc. was Centaur’s most successful action hero, Amazing Man (sometimes “Amazing-Man,” but most often just “Aman”), who starred in Amazing Man Comics. Created in the aftermath of Superman’s success, Amazing Man was the first superhero to debut in his own self-titled comic book.

John Aman was a civilian, orphaned and raised by monks in Tibet. Amazing Man, possessing superhuman strength and mental powers like telepathy, had the ability to disappear into a cloud of green vapor that gave him the power of flight. Comic book legend Gil Kane often cited this book as an example of the best of the Golden Age of Comics, owing to Everett’s art and storytelling acumen. Amazing Man Comics lasted 22 issues into 1942. (Everett’s last contribution was in issue #11. This volume presents Everett’s final three Amazing Man adventures. For earlier adventures, see Volume 1.) Indeed, Everett’s stories mirrored the zeal he had for living and his lack of conformity, and they influenced writers for generations to come. “When I was researching Marvels,” recalls writer Kurt Busiek, “reading all those classic stories from the Golden Age, what struck me about the SubMariner series was how fearless it was, how Everett seemed to have no patience for any rules, couldn’t be constrained by any borders. “While many creators were doing cleanly episodic action stories, Everett’s approach was far more like the open, unrestrained stage of a newspaper strip. Storylines spilled from issue to issue. If they were too big for the space they were in, fine. Let them go wherever the impulse took them, and we, the readers, could do nothing but hold on and follow, fascinated.”1 17.


Novelty Press, the comic book imprint of Curtis Publishing Company (who published The Saturday Evening Post), was another early client. Concurrent with his work on the Sub-Mariner, Everett helped put together the first issue of the long-running title, Target Comics. It featured Everett’s next strip, a Western entitled Bull’s-Eye Bill that was highly influenced by his early years spent in rural Arizona. The Chameleon followed in Target Comics after Bull’s-Eye Bill petered out in issue #6. (This volume presents all of Everett’s Chameleon adventures and his final two Bull’s-Eye Bill stories. For more Bull’s-Eye Bill, see Volume 1.) Eastern Color Printing was the next big account for Funnies, Inc. They printed the majority of comic books for other publishers, but also published their own. Everett struck up a friendship with Eastern editor (and sometimes artist) Stephen A. Douglas. Douglas is considered the first editor of comic books, having been with the company since it began putting them together in 1933. The success of the Sub-Mariner prompted Douglas to ask Everett for another water-based hero, so Everett came up with Hydroman, who debuted in the first issue of Reg’lar Fellers Heroic Comics (August 1940). (Everett’s final four Hydroman stories are presented here. For the first five Hydroman adventures, see Volume 1.) Hillman Periodicals was another client who used Everett’s work. Everett’s work on his hero for Hillman, The Conqueror, was featured in Volume 1. Lev Gleason, the publisher of Daredevil, Crime Does Not Pay, and Boy Comics, also employed Funnies, Inc. to produce Silver Streak Comics. Issue #1 in 1939 featured a text story with Everett illustrations. In 1942, he contributed two tales of Red Reed (p. 131).

Comics writer Kurt Busiek, in an email to the author, February 2013. 2 Joe and Jim Simon, The Comic-Book Makers, 1990, hardcover edition, p. 45. 1

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Everett’s departure for World War II in April 1942 coincided with Funnies, Inc.’s fall from being a major packager in the industry. Martin Goodman, once he developed confidence in the staying power and profitability of comics, realized that he could cut out the middleman — i.e., Funnies, Inc. — and started building his own in-house staff. It didn’t take long. Goodman hedged his bets early, bringing on Joe Simon as an artist/editor, followed by Jack Kirby. Together, the two co-created Captain America for Goodman. “Lloyd Jacquet and his Funnies, Inc., outfit were being phased out,” recalled Simon. “Soon, we were buying only the Human Torch and SubMariner from Jacquet and irritating the hell out of him with demands for script and art changes in hopes that he would resign the features he had helped to build. Timely Comics [the first company name for Marvel Comics] had outgrown Funnies, Inc.”2 Everett was pulled away early from SubMariner to head to war, and that was his last work through Funnies, Inc. (Jacquet, too, went into the service in 1942. He returned in 1946, but the industry was evolving away from the shop system. Jacquet continued Funnies, Inc. in one form or another until finally closing its doors in 1961.) Everett, too, would never again quite know a time like he had at Funnies, Inc. When he returned from the war, he had challenges adapting at first. The end of World war II left the superhero on life support. Everett’s beloved Namor hung on until 1949, the year all the Marvel superheroes petered away. Everett, however, expanded his oeuvre. His versatility in moving from genre to genre enabled his career to explode in the 1950s.


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Heroic Tales: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 2 - preview  

Heroic Tales: The Bill Everett Archives Vol. 2 edited by Blake Bell http://www.fantagraphics.com/heroictales 248-page full-color 7.25" x 1...

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